Boulder is a biker’s paradise. It’s home to some of the world’s best biking trails, renowned cyclists and has been named one of the top bike-friendly places in the country. Bicycling Magazine ranked Boulder the third.
If you want to experience Boulder, whether in town or in the mountains, the most authentic way is to do it on two wheels.
But traveling with your bike isn’t exactly cheap or easy. Leave it at home. Boulder’s got plenty of bike rentals waiting for you, whether you just want a casual cruiser for a half hour or a finely tuned triathlon bike for a big competition.
Here’s where to rent bikes in Boulder.
This is the simplest way to rent a bike in Boulder, although it doesn’t allow for bike fittings, a variety of styles of bikes or children’s bikes. Bcycle has 41 of bike stations throughout town stocked with 300 bikes. You’ll see the spots by the line of red cruiser-style bikes. You can rent directly from the station, 24/7.
Just unlock a bike from the dock, ride it as long as you want (you’ll be charged for your time) and return it when you’re done.
Bcycle is also great for people on a budget; it’s just $8 for a 24-hour period. But the catch is you have to check it into a Bcycle station every 30 minutes or you’ll be charged extra. We love Bcycles for bike tours around town, if you know where you’ll be and have control over your schedule.
This is a great option for athletes coming to Boulder for training or racing (or fun), who need a special bike but don’t want to travel with theirs. Colorado Multisport rents triathlon bikes. It also rents road bikes and townie bikes (ideal for just pedaling around town).
You can rent a tri bike for just a day, specifically for a “race weekend” (that’s Friday through Monday) or more than a week. Depending on how serious you are, you can even upgrade to race wheels,
You can also borrow a bike for a few days as a demonstration if you want to buy it but want to make sure it’s right for you.
U Bikes on Pearl Street has been renting bikes in Boulder for more than three decades, so it has a great reputation. Bikes are also inexpensive, at just $25 a day. Need a tip? U Bikes’ crew can offer trail advice and more. Rent mountain, road, town and even kids bikes here.
Looking to buy a bike? You can also demo up to three bikes to see which works.
Another cool service U Bikes offers is help boxing and shipping your bikes, if you are traveling outside of Boulder. This is convenient for locals, as well a visitors who fall in love with a bike and want to take it home. The shop also rents bike bags for transport.
Full Cycle bike shop sells and rents all kinds of bikes, including fat bikes, electric bikes, cyclocross bikes, cruisers and kid bikes. Mountain bikes come in various styles, too: alloy, carbon and hardtail. Prices vary from $25 a day all the way up to $95 for a carbon mountain bike.
After you rent you bike, put your wheels to good use and check out Full Cycle’s Bike and Beer rides.
Boulder Cycle Sport Outlet
Boulder Cycle Sport Outlet is a bike shop that also rents out mountain, road, cyclocross and even electric bikes and fat bikes (those are bikes with extra wide tires that you can ride on all terrains, even snow and ice). As with many other bike shops, you can demo a bike before you buy it, too.
You can select and book your bike online before you arrive in Boulder. Rentals come with helmets and kits to fix a flat tire.
Join one of Boulder Cycle Sport’s group rides with your rental to meet some locals and challenge yourself. Try a guided mountain bike group ride on beginner or intermediate trails and terrain, or join the Flagstaff Friday Group Ride, a weekly trek up Flagstaff mountain at various speeds. After the ride, head back down for coffee and snacks.
Bicycle Village in Boulder offers rentals. It also offers suggestions on great trails to ride and organizes group rides you can join. Pick a group that fits your style: social rides, women-only, beginners, intermediate, recreational, advanced.
The social rides are ideal for beginners. They’re all about fun, don’t go too fast or too far (12 to 25 miles tops) and usually wind up at a coffee shop. You can take a cruiser, hybrid or comfort bike out on one of these. No need to get too fancy.
Local tip: Reserve your bike online at rentbikes.org and save 20 percent.